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Stocks slid on major markets across Asia in early trade. S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.93% to 4616.2. Nikkei 225 lost 1.63% to 9,561.42. Hang Seng Index was down 1.59% to 23250.69, while Shanghai Composite slipped 1.01% to 2715.93.


Ord River Resources Limited's (ASX:ORD) 49%-owned Sino Australian Resources Co., Ltd ("SARCO") signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Non-Ferrous Metal Industry's Foreign Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd ("NFC") (SHE:000758) for a proposed Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract. Under the Memorandum, NFC will act as SARCO's EPC contractor for the planned 600,000 tonne per annum alumina refinery in Laos and will assist SARCO with arranging project financing from Chinese banks.

Minemakers Limited (ASX:MAK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NMDC Limited (BOM:NMDC) for the development of the Wonarah Phosphate deposit in the Northern Territory. The proposed development will include a mine and processing facilities to produce phosphate for export and fertiliser products.

Unity Mining Limited (ASX:UML) has commenced the development of the Newton Zone at the Henty Gold Mine in Western Tasmania. Newton's grade and dimensions are in-line with expectations and its development will contribute significantly to Henty's production in 2012 and beyond. Mineral Resources at Henty doubled to 203,000 ounces of gold in late 2010 and the mine life was extended to around four years.

Discovery Metals Limited (ASX:DML) reported high grade copper silver intersections from the Plutus deposit within its 100% owned Boseto copper project in Botswana. The Project is currently being constructed and scheduled to commence production in early 2012. Planned production is approximately 36,000 tonnes of copper and more than 1 million ounces of silver per annum over an initial 15 year mine life.


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